Let's Get Dirty

A gardening blog for adults who still love to play in the dirt.

Send stories and pictures of your horticultural adventures to letsgetdirty@gjsentinel.com.

Page 63 of 147


This worked…

By Penny Stine
Monday, August 19, 2013

Nothing long-winded today; I have way too much to do. But check this out... yes, this is a cucumber that I planted next to a shoe rack next to a blue spruce tree that's in the middle of my biggest garden area. I hoped the cucumber would grow all over the shoe rack and would find its way to the blue spruce, which it would climb and give me cucumbers hanging from a blue spruce tree.

I don't know if you can see it or not, but there's a red Sikkim cucumber that looks ready to pick hanging from the vine that's hanging from the blue spruce. Cool, huh?

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The mysteries of squash

By Penny Stine
Friday, August 16, 2013

My mom gave me some seeds from a pink winter squash she grew last summer. She said the squash was prolific and it had a great taste. So I planted it in my backyard garden box. Yes, the same one with the amaranth. 

Unlike the rest of my garden spaces, where I scattered various squash seeds all over the place and now can't remember which ones are summer squash and which ones are winter squash, I only planted the pink winter squash in that particular bed. 

It hasn't turned pink yet, but it is looking sort of coral. Mom's got bigger and pinker as fall progressed, so I'm hoping this one will, too. 

 

I also found this in the same garden box.  It looks like a tiny butternut squash to me, which is funny, because I didn't plant butternut squash in this bed. Ever, even though it grew in the bed last year, too. Last year, I harvested at least 3 butternut squash out of the bed even though I planted seeds from a giant hubbard (given to me by my mom, of course). 

In my other garden, I've got a green pattypan squash plant growing in the bed where I already harvested my garlic. I planted yellow pattypan this year and green pattypan last year. The seed must not have gotten the message to grow last season, but caught on sometime this season. Maybe the smell of all that garlic growing around it spurred it to action. That will wake up anybody. 

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August flowers

By Penny Stine
Wednesday, August 14, 2013

As anyone who reads this knows, I garden to eat. I love flowers, but I don't like to spend a lot of money on them. Nor do I want to spend a lot of time coaxing them. 

 

Any flowers growing in my garden have to be pretty self-sufficient, which meaans they're either perennials that bloom once a year or annuals that sow themselves willy-nilly all over the place, like this amaranth growing in a small garden box in my back yard. There's also squash, green beans, tomatoes and a few tomatillos (that also came up on their own) in the planting box. Oh, and plenty of grass, too.

 

 

 

I did actually dig this morning glory up from where it had sowed itself and replanted it in this pot because I wanted it to do exactly what it's doing. It's so nice when plants behave and do that.

And so rare.

Kinda like kids...

 

 

 

 

 

 

I scattered a few marigold and zinnia seeds that I collected from last year's flowers out in front of my main garden. Most of the perennials in my garden bloom earlier in the spring, so marigolds and zinnias add nice annual color later in the summer and into the fall. As does the amaranth, which tends to grow wherever it wants to. 

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August flowers

By Penny Stine
Wednesday, August 14, 2013

As anyone who reads this knows, I garden to eat. I love flowers, but I don't like to spend a lot of money on them. Nor do I want to spend a lot of time coaxing them. 

 

Any flowers growing in my garden have to be pretty self-sufficient, which meaans they're either perennials that bloom once a year or annuals that sow themselves willy-nilly all over the place, like this amaranth growing in a small garden box in my back yard. There's also squash, green beans, tomatoes and a few tomatillos (that also came up on their own) in the planting box. Oh, and plenty of grass, too.

 

 

 

I did actually dig this morning glory up from where it had sowed itself and replanted it in this pot because I wanted it to do exactly what it's doing. It's so nice when plants behave and do that.

And so rare.

Kinda like kids...

 

 

 

 

 

 

I scattered a few marigold and zinnia seeds that I collected from last year's flowers out in front of my main garden. Most of the perennials in my garden bloom earlier in the spring, so marigolds and zinnias add nice annual color later in the summer and into the fall. As does the amaranth, which tends to grow wherever it wants to. 

 

 

As you can see, amaranth wants to grow all over my gardens...

I don't know if it's a beneficial plant, like marigolds are supposed to be, but I do think it looks cool and may just give the melons and green beans another place to climb.

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Cut the kale

By Penny Stine
Friday, August 9, 2013

I love kale. In fact, I planted several different varieties of kale just to see if I could taste the difference. Here's the blue dwarf. I actually planted it a year or two ago. It's in the shade, so it never gets big, but it also doesn't die at the end of the season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is redbor kale (and lots of grass, which I should pull, but I can't seem to want to spend every spare second weeding). Some of the redbor looks exactly the same as Russian red kale, which I also have in multiple places.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a broccoli/kale plant that seems to be more kale than broccoli, although on some plants, it's actually forming little purple heads the size of a cotton ball. That's not just grass and weeds next to the kale, there's also some orange cosmos in there. 

I can't taste any difference in any of the kale, although I quit eating it raw a month or two ago. Maybe if I ate it raw, I'd notice a difference. After recently being diagnosed with hypothyroidism, however, I learned that raw cruciferous veggies can make hypothyroidism worse in people who already have it.


Bummer, and I've got all this kale, which was so wonderful (and economical) in my breakfast smoothies. Cooking it makes it less of a problem, but who wants to cook kale every morning before making a smoothie?
So... I've been picking and cooking big bunches of kale once a week, then cutting up watermelon and putting the two together in my awesome blender.

 

 

Then I pour the kale/watermelon concentrate in ice cube trays and once they're frozen, I put the kale cubes in gallon plastic freezer bags for later use. Although cooking kale doesn't sound appealing at 6 a.m., it's pretty easy to drop three or four kale cubes into my blender and add them to the morning's concoction.  

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Page 63 of 147




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